Cardiovascular Risks and Benefits of Medications Used for Weight Loss

Carolyn T. Bramante*, Sarah Raatz, Eric M. Bomberg, Megan M. Oberle, Justin R. Ryder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Obesity is a complex disease influenced by many neurohormonal pathways which regulate body weight toward homeostasis. Presently, the disease of obesity effects over a billion individuals worldwide with scalable treatment options in dire need. Pharmacologic interventions for obesity have been developed to help promote weight loss in individuals with obesity. This area is rapidly developing and will only exponentially increase to serve the demand for persons with obesity seeking biologically orientated solutions to treat their disease. Therefore, understanding the cardiovascular risks and benefits of these weight loss medications is of particularly importance due to obesities strong association with cardiovascular (CV) disease risk. Moreover, past experiences with pharmacotherapy agents with weight loss properties have demonstrated an association with adverse CV outcomes, leading to market removal, in most cases and concerns over using similar medications. To better understand the CV risks and benefits pharmacotherapy agents used for weight loss, this review will discuss medications which are FDA-approved for weight loss, as well as medications commonly used off-label for this indication. The goal is to provide an overview of the risks and benefits many of these medications can offer to help guide clinical decision making and patient education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number883
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
StatePublished - Jan 15 2020


  • anti-obesity agents
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • diabetes mellitus type 2
  • obesity
  • obesity therapy
  • pediatric obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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